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HVADC Involvement: Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grants

Jan 31, 2024

Strengthening mid-channel capacity to increase statewide capacity

HVADC is getting the word out to regional businesses servicing the agricultural supply chain about significant project grant funding that will be available through the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant Program (RFSI). Enhancing, growing and improving the mid-channel of the food supply chain, is the focus of the program.

The funding comes initially from the American Rescue Plan. $420 million in block grants which was made available to all states by the United States Department of Agriculture. New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (Ag and Markets) received the fourth largest amount, $19.38 million, and will fund projects with the goal to expand statewide capacity and infrastructure for the aggregation, processing, manufacturing, storage, transporting, wholesaling, or distribution of targeted local and regional agricultural food products (excluding meat, poultry and cannabis products). Grant awards will range from $100,000 to $3 million and will require a 50% match, or a 25% match from businesses run by companies owned from historically underserved demographics. 


“We want to get the word out,” said HVADC Executive Director Todd Erling, who is working with leaders in neighboring states through the Agricultural Viability Alliance to guide projects and reduce geographically adjacent redundancies in project types across borders to support best outcomes. “These funds represent an opportunity to build and expand resources that benefit the entire industry. We are excited to see how this program will be able to grow not just the businesses awarded RFSI grants but the vitality of New York’s entire food system.”


Erling said that there will mostly likely be a short timeframe for applications. It is anticipated that the funding will likely be most advantageous for renovation, expansion of existing facilities and upgrades, and that realistically businesses that capture these significant grants will already have a project in mind or be in the planning stages.  


Successful projects will focus on increasing the supply of New York-sourced food products available in New York markets. Competitive project applications should look to benefit multiple producers and multiple markets.


“With this funding, we have an opportunity to make a real impact on the resilience of our food system, focusing on the middle-of-the-supply-chain specifically, to modernize and support construction of agricultural facilities, improve training, support the purchase of new equipment, and so much more,” said State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball, when he announced the creation of the program during the summer.  “We look forward to a robust response from the agricultural community.”


Ag and Markets has specified that eligible applicants for RFSI funds include; New York State agricultural producers or processors, or groups of agricultural producers and processors and not-for-profit organizations. Also eligible are, local government entities, tribal governments and institutions such as schools, universities, and hospitals. The goal is to support entities that bring producers together to establish cooperative or shared infrastructure, or invest in equipment that will benefit multiple producers supply chain activities.


Eligible projects will be those that expand processing capacity, including product type, increased production volume, and new wholesale/retail product lines; modernize equipment or facilities through upgrades, repairs, or retooling; purchase installation of specialized equipment; modernize manufacturing, tracking, storage, and information technology systems; enhance worker safety through adoption of new technologies or investment in equipment or facility improvements; construct new facilities; increase packaging and labeling capacities; increase storage space; develop, customize, or install climate-smart equipment; modernize equipment or facilities to ensure food safety; and train on the use of new equipment and new processes.


If you are interested in learning more about this upcoming program, reach out to HVADC at

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